Sweet Corn Chaat

Sweet corn season is here and the corns are tender and juicy. We made Sweet Corn Soup, and had some kernels left over, so it was a perfect time for a chaat as an afternoon snack.  This type of chaat is like an Indian version of Salsa.

In this recipe we roast the kernels in butter until they are browned or blackened, which intensifies their flavour.

This is a great dish to eat warm as the corn is buttery and beautiful. If you need to make it beforehand, bring it to room temperature before using.

This recipe is a great vehicle for using the vegetables that you have at hand, and that can be grated, shredded or chopped. Cucumber can be added, for example, and grated beetroot. I used the greens of spring onions as they were to hand and I love their taste, but you can also use the white stems.  Radish is good too, shredded, but it has quite a bite so just use a little. Cubes of boiled potato is a great addition.

Similar recipes include Crispy Corn and Onion Chaat, Channa Chaat, Borlotti Bean Chaat, and Poha Chaat.

Browse all of our Chaat dishes and our Sweet Corn recipes. Our Indian recipes are here, and Indian Essentials here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Milky Brinjal Chutney | Roasted Eggplant Chutney

Despite milk being abundant in India, I find it is rare to see it used in dishes that are not sweet. However I have probably seen more such recipes in the past month than I have noticed in the past decade. I wonder is that just my awareness, or is there a resurgence of popularity of these dishes.

Yoghurt is of course used extensively in savoury dishes, so why not use milk instead of yoghurt? You will find that milk gives a lighter touch and is without the sourness of yoghurt. While yoghurt is always evident in dishes, milk adds flavour without being assertive.

However, the ancient Ayurveda texts advise not to combine milk and salt. This combination, they say, creeps up on you, damaging the body in various ways over a long period of time. It is Ok to mix salt with milk products, such as yoghurt, paneer etc, just not milk. You will see various ayurvedic practitioners warn against the combination, but interestingly Vasant Lad does not. If you do wish to avoid it, leave out the salt, or substitute watered down yoghurt and touch of sugar for the milk. The sugar is to counteract the sourness of the yoghurt.

This is an Indian chutney from Andhra Pradesh. Eggplant is roasted and the flesh is mashed with milk that has been boiled and cooled, and then a tempering added that includes ginger and coriander leaves. It is delicious, and I recommend it with rice or part of an Indian meal.

South Indian chutneys are quite different to Western chutneys, and they also make great dips, spreads for sandwiches and wraps, and purees to accompany a meal or form a base for other ingredients.

Similar dishes include Fresh Radish Chutney, Mint and Coriander Chutney, and Green Tomato Pachadi.

Browse all of our Indian Chutneys and our Eggplant dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.

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MID AUTUMN Salads and Dips for Exciting Autumn Eating VOL 2 | Seasonal Cooking

What a special month this is, quintessential Autumn. No matter where you are it is a month of change. Beautiful cold weather vegetables come to the table – Spinach, Pumpkin, Potatoes, Eggplants. The vegetables at this time of the year are superb.

Enjoy some Vegetable inspiration for Mid Autumn deliciousness. You can also browse:

If you have difficulty with any links, please let us know. We would love to fix them for you.

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Baked Feta with Tomatoes and Red Capsicum

Baked Feta is a perfect mezza dish, served with crackers or flatbread. Flavoursome, soft, mouth watering, the baked feta is aromatic and elicits sounds of approval from your friends at your shared table. It is the sort of dish that you can make at the last minute – your friends arrive unexpectedly at meal time, as they do.

Or it is a great snack, mid afternoon, with a pot of mint tea. And it goes really well on Summery days when the BBQ is lit and people are milling around, nibbling, while the salads are made and the vegetable kebabs are cooking. We have also had it on a Winter’s day as we sit around the fire, reading, writing and chatting. Best of all, it is a perfect Summer Holidays dish, when no-one wants to cook much at all.

This recipe is a mish-mash of Italian and Greek. Definitely Mediterranean.

Similar recipes include Slow Braised Peppers in Olive Oil, Parsley and Barley Salad with Feta, Du Puy Lentils with Feta, and Baked Eggplant with Feta.

Browse all of our other Feta dishes, our Italian recipes and our Greek dishes. Or explore our Late Winter recipes.

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Broad Bean Spread with Roasted Garlic Ricotta

On the day that I picked 3 kg of broad beans, I knew I had to find some additional recipes. We have some wonderful broad bean dishes, but I was looking for something new and different. We had recently made Avocado and Broad Bean Mash (delicious), and this time it was a rift on that recipe, combining a herby and lemony broad bean mix with ricotta flavoured with roasted garlic. What could be better? Slather it on sourdough toast. (You can make it with frozen broad beans too.)

We have made this successfully with cream cheese instead of the ricotta. We’ve been keeping cream cheese handy lately, it is so versatile. We love to pile it onto fresh bread or toast and then top it with pistachio butter. I can’t tell you how good this is.

The recipe for this broad bean and ricotta spread comes from Ottolenghi- we are currently cooking our way through his book Plenty More. We feel free to substitute ingredients that are not readily available in our local area.

It is Ottolenghi Cooking the Books Day on the blog – one day per month where we publish the latest recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi’s books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. Currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

Similar recipes include Broad Bean Dip with Wilted Greens, 31 Dishes to Make with Broad Beans, and Broad Bean Salad with Garlic and Dill.

Browse all of our Broad Bean dishes and our Spreads. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Mid Spring recipes.

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Miso and Ginger Dressing

In our series of miso recipes and especially miso dressings, we have a creamy, salty, tangy dressing today. It is wonderful spooned over any tofu, salad, grated raw vegetables, steamed or grilled vegetables, and in wraps and sandwiches. It livens up dull soups as well. The recipe is a version of one in The Book of Miso.

Similar recipes include Miso and Tahini Dressing, and Miso and Sesame Dressing.

Browse all of our Dressings and all of our Miso recipes. Or explore our Mid Winter recipes.

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EARLY AUTUMN Salads, Dressings, Dips and Sauces for Good Autumn Eating Volume 2 | Seasonal Cooking

As the heat retreats, so many vegetables are at their best in Early Autumn. Salads are still very much at the fore of our kitchen fare. As the heat tempers and the gardens once gain flourish, a slow Autumn rhythm begins to emerge. This is Volume 2 of our Early Autumn Salads – Salads are excellent in Autumn – browse Volume 1 as well.

Enjoy our Salad Inspiration for Early Autumn.

You can also browse other Early Autumn recipes:

If you notice any links that have problems, please let us know – we’d love to fix them for you.

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Avocado and Broad Bean Mash

Only in Spring could you get away with having a dish this green!

And what a great crop of broad beans we have had this year – they have grown extraordinarily well and we have had enough to freeze as well as make all of our favourite broad bean dishes. In the early part of the season we pick them small and eat them whole, or podded without being peeled. As the season continues, we let them grow larger for a different more meatier taste. This way we can have them for 3 – 4 months without getting sick of them. Today I picked 2.5 kg of the large ones. Podded and peeled, we are making this Avocado Bean Mash with some, and the rest go in the freezer for Summer and Autumn.

Note that, because my broad beans are home grown, they are still tender at this stage. Beans bought from a green grocer are likely to be tougher if very large. Look for the smaller beans. With my home grown beans, I used around 850g unpodded beans to get 250g podded and peeled beans. Yours might be different. Perhaps buy around 1kg to have enough.

This is another recipe from Ottolenghi’s new book Simple. It’s the second one we have made from his new book, and love the lightness and simplicity of this dish. It is a great dip and spread – use it as a mezze plate, a snack in front of the TV, or as nibbles with a glass of wine and group of friends before you head out on the town. There is no garlic in it, so you’ll be right.

It is Ottolenghi Cooking the Books Day on the blog – one of 1 or 2 days per month where we publish the latest recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi’s books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. Currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. We’ve been a bit distracted by Simple. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

Similar dishes include Broad Bean Spread with Roasted Garlic Ricotta, Beautiful Fennel Puree, Avocado Salsa with Deep Fried Tortilla Chips, and Fava Bean Puree.

Browse all of our Broad Bean dishes and all of our Dips. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Simple are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through Plenty More. Or explore our Mid Spring recipes.

We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.

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Chinese Cold Cucumber | Chinese Flavoured Quick Pickle

Soy dressings are not something that I grew up with, my family being unadventurous food-wise, and county folk to boot. Integrating different ingredients into the daily routine was something that happened rarely, although I do remember my Mother being obsessed with Peppermint Essence. All our desserts tasted like toothpaste for months.

But soy dressings DO feature in our household, having inherited a foodie adventurous gene from somewhere in my line of ancestors. This salad, definitely Chinese, dresses finely chopped cucumber in soy, sesame, and rice vinegar. Use a white vinegar if you don’t have rice vinegar.

Similar recipes include Cucumber Salad with Capers, Translucent Cucumber Salad, and Asian Pickled Cucumber and Tofu Salad.

Or browse all of our Cucumber Salads, and all of our Cucumber recipes. All of our Chinese dishes are here. Or explore our Late Summer collection of dishes.

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Braised Tomatoes with Herbs

This is such a simple recipe but a great one to keep in your stock of go to items when you need something for pasta, to top hummus, another dip or spread, to float on top of soup, to ladle onto polenta or quinoa, or to toss into salads. Actually, it is a great recipe for left over tomatoes – use cherry tomatoes or cut others into halves or quarters.

The tomatoes can also be whizzed into dressings or marinades, added to rice as it is cooking, or stirred through any grain during or after cooking. It’s perfect spooned on top of Pudla, Socca or Farinata.

Similar dishes include Oven Baked Tomatoes, Baked Tomato Pasta Sauce, and Farinata with Tomatoes, Onion and Cheese.

Browse all of our Tomato dishes or explore all of our Mid Spring recipes.

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